Eco mini bus to ply Macc coun­try routes

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

A NEW eco-friendly ‘mini’ bus has been launched in Mac­cles­field.

Ar­riva North West has in­vested £1m into nine new buses, which are smaller than the tra­di­tional buses and will re­duce con­ges­tion on coun­try roads.

The 22 seater buses will fea­ture e-leather seats, wheel­chair ac­cess, free on board Wi-Fi with USB charg­ing points on each seat, and will ser­vice route num­bers 2, 3, 4, 6, 9 and 21 in Mac­cles­field, as well as the num­ber 2 and 4 in Wins­ford.

Mark Wynne, gen­eral man­ager of Ar­riva North West, said: “We’re de­ter­mined to en­sure that all our buses con­trib­ute to Ar­riva’s green agenda by op­er­at­ing eco-friendly ser­vices that min­imise car­bon emis­sions.

“This is a sig­nif­i­cant investment in Cheshire and we’re de­lighted that we can pro­vide an even bet­ter ser­vice to sat­isfy the needs of the Mac­cles­field and Wins­ford com­mu­nity.”

The firm hosted a fam­ily fun day on Satur­day to present the new buses to the town, which in­cluded a hog roast, fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties and street per­form­ers, in­clud­ing a visit from storm troop­ers and char­ac­ters from the Star Wars movies.

Ar­riva also used the oc­ca­sion to do­nate £500 worth of food, re­fresh­ments, sleep­ing bags and cloth­ing to the Tree­house Food Kitchen in Mac­cles­field, which helps home­less and dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple in the town.

CHESHIRE East Coun­cil is cur­rently con­sult­ing on plans to with­draw sub­si­dies for some Mac­cles­field bus ser­vices in or­der to save money.

The coun­cil cur­rently sub­sidises bus routes which pri­vate op­er­a­tors do not deem as fi­nan­cially vi­able, in­clud­ing the less pop­u­lar ser­vices on Sun­days and in the evenings.

But fears have ben raised that scrap­ping the fund­ing could mean pri­vate op­er­a­tors, in­clud­ing Ar­riva and High Peak, may choose to with­draw them.

Among the routes af­fected are the num­ber 10 from Mac­cles­field to Bolling­ton, the num­ber 9 from Mac­cles­field to the Moss Rose and the num­ber 38 from Mac­cles­field to Crewe.

A 10-week pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion into the pro­posal will end on Tues­day, July 18.

A spokesman for Ar­riva said the firm awaits the out­come of the pro­pos­als be­fore com­ment­ing on the fu­ture of ser­vices.

Pic: Tracy Ann Rush­ton

One of the Ar­riva mini buses (top) and Ol­lie, eight, and Benji Rush­ton, six, with Star Wars char­ac­ters at the fun day

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